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Windows Vista Service Pack '11' Will Have “Virtualization Based Security” Theater That Slows Down Games Almost 30% and Enables Security Vulnerabilities on Intel Tiger Lake CPUs (Probably Others Too)

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Windows 11 will have “virtualization based security” theater that slows down games almost 30% and enables security vulnerabilities on Intel Tiger Lake CPUs (probably others).



According to PC Gamer, “Microsoft ‘will be enabling VBS on most new PCs over this next year’ and that can tank PC gaming performance by around 25%.”.



"Nothing Microsoft has ever done has slowed them down for long, and I suspect your svchost will still be svchosting malware in short order."Where VBS is “Virtualization Based Security”. (Not to be confused with Visual Basic Scripting, which was their scripting language, and what the Melissa and I Love You viruses, along with countless others were written in.)



The interesting facts about VBS (the “security” thing, not the virus scripting language) is that it is designed to wall off “critical parts” of the Windows OS so that it’s harder for malware to inject malicious code into them. But I wouldn’t count out those industrious malware authors. Nothing Microsoft has ever done has slowed them down for long, and I suspect your svchost will still be svchosting malware in short order.



What it does do is cripple performance, at least gaming. Could be one reason why my games run so much better in Wine on Debian 11.



I had turned “VBS” on when I had Windows because it’s in Windows 10, and it didn’t mention anything about performance problems.



To get it to even turn on at all required uninstalling a useless incompatible driver meant for Windows 8 that Windows 10 had brought in from the manufacturer of my old WD EasyStore drive.



"So to enable VBS “security”, you have to make your system impossible to secure against a speculative execution attack, and then in exchange for this, you get to slow your video games down 28%. Wow, sign me up!"So it appears that pretty much all an attacker needs to do in order to shut it off is manage to get a driver that’s written for an earlier version of Windows installed somehow, which shouldn’t be difficult, and then at least in Windows 10 it’s gone and you don’t get an alert(?).



Also, buried in the details are that since this thing relies on Microsoft HyperV, it will stop other virtualization software from running correctly.



And if you look in the Event Viewer (sorry, I didn’t take a picture, I should have), you’ll see that Windows lists CVE numbers belonging to Spectre attacks that it isn’t mitigating because they want the “Hypervisor” to perform well and don’t want to get in the way of Intel’s Hyperthreading, which is being used to speed up HyperV, which is running VBS.



So to enable VBS “security”, you have to make your system impossible to secure against a speculative execution attack, and then in exchange for this, you get to slow your video games down 28%. Wow, sign me up!



“While we are not requiring VBS when upgrading to Windows 11,” explains the post, “we believe the security benefits it offers are so important that we wanted the minimum system requirements to ensure that every PC running Windows 11 can meet the same security the DoD relies on. 

Microsoft


It’s amazing what money can buy. Microsoft bought a Pentagon. Former President Trump was about to hand them “JEDI” to put in their Azure Clown, which has caused so many security disasters for other organizations that we don’t have all day for me to list them.



"Microsoft bribes and “lobbying” got the government to ditch them and weaken them so that Windows could get government contracts."In the 1980s and 1990s, there were these security standards that the US government still used called the Rainbow Books, which pretty much only a UNIX system could provide. Microsoft bribes and “lobbying” got the government to ditch them and weaken them so that Windows could get government contracts.



Then in exchange for bringing Windows in, we got the “smart ship” stuck at port due to a Windows NT crash, worm mess on Windows 2000 and XP (which didn’t even enable the software firewall in the first release and logged everyone in as Administrator or apps broke, and had raw sockets for normal users), Vista LULZ (and their current operating systems are still basically Vista service packs), and everything else that Windows has brought with it but to name a few.



It’s time to bring real standards back to computing.



Microsoft is better at public corruption than they are with security, as you can no doubt see.

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